Study: Psychedelics May Help Stuttering

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A newly published study from researchers at New York University found that individuals dealing with a stutter derived some benefit from substances such as psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in “magic mushrooms,” and LSD.

“Given the positive effects of psychedelics on conditions like anxiety and PTSD, which share symptoms with stuttering, we think that investigating the potential impact of psychedelics on stuttering can be a fruitful area of research,” said Eric S. Jackson, an associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and the lead author of the study. 

The research, published this month in the Journal of Fluency Disorders, is the “first study to explore self-reported experiences of self-identified stutterers using classic psychedelics.”

“Stuttering poses challenges to social, occupational, and educational aspects of life. Traditional behavioral therapies can be helpful but effects are often limited. Pharmaceutical treatments have been explored, but there are no FDA-approved treatments for stuttering. Interest has grown in the potential use of classic psychedelics, including psilocybin and LSD, which have shown effectiveness in treating disorders with similar symptoms (e.g., anxiety, depression, PTSD). The potential effects of psychedelics on stuttering have not been explored,” Jackson and his team wrote in the study’s abstract.

Stuttering is “typically characterized by its symptoms—intermittent disruptions in speech,” they added. 

“Stuttering, or the possibility of stuttering, also triggers anxiety, fear, and shame which significantly impact quality of life. Negative reactions of listeners, such as teasing or mocking exacerbate these feelings, complicating the individual’s ability to cope with and move forward in speech when stuttering occurs. The speech of stutterers is amenable to change in therapy, but such change is often not durable with relics of tension, struggle, and avoidance re-emerging,” the researchers said. “To achieve lasting changes, stutterers may …

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Author: Thomas Edward / High Times

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